1,000 Protesters Greet Sen. McConnell At Ky. Speech

Feb 21, 2017

Nearly a thousand people have crowded behind a chain link fence to try to catch Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's attention as he made his first stop on a tour of Kentucky during the congressional recess.

Credit WLEX TV

The Latest: Mitch McConnell fields protesters' questions:

1:30 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fielded a series of heated questions during his first speech in a tour of Kentucky during the congressional recess.

McConnell did not answer questions about the deadly raid in Yemen or coal jobs continuing to disappear, and instead thanked the questioners for their "speeches."

One woman shouted, "if you answer that, I'll sit down and shut up like Elizabeth Warren." She was referencing the now-infamous event on the Senate floor earlier this month when McConnell ordered the Democratic senator from Massachusetts to sit down during the fight over Jeff Sessions' confirmation as attorney general.

Nearly 1,000 protesters greeted McConnell outside the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday, which was the first of several scheduled events this week. Demonstrators promised to follow him to each stop.

The protesters on Tuesday chanted, "No ban, no wall, Mitch McConnell take our call," a reference to the senator's clogged voicemail system during the first month of Donald Trump's presidency.

The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday is the first of several events where McConnell is scheduled to speak. Demonstrators promised to follow him to each stop.

Thirty-two-year-old Robert Brown uses a wheelchair because of spina bifida. He joined the crowd to protest McConnell's vow to repeal the Affordable Care Act. McConnell arrived at noon and was greeted inside with a standing ovation.

1:15 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he is "proud" of the nearly 1,000 protesters who gathered outside his first stop on a tour of Kentucky during the congressional recess.

He says he respects the protesters' right to voice their opposition to Donald Trump's presidency and the conservative agenda Republicans plan to push through Congress, including dismantling the Affordable Care Act. McConnell says protesting is "what we do in this country."

The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday is the first of several events where McConnell is scheduled to speak. Demonstrators promised to follow him to each stop.

McConnell reminded the crowd of about 100 inside that Democrats lost the election, saying "when you win the election you get to make policy. Winners make policy and the losers go home."